Mother Recounts Scalping Ordeal After She Leaned Over Car Engine

It was a nightmare for Alon Abare, who was pinned to the engine by what was left of her hair and scalp as she investigated a mechanical problem.

A mother is recalling the terrifying moment she was scalped when her long hair got caught in a car’s fan belt.

Alon Abare, who now wears a wig to cover her injuries, was checking on a mechanical problem with her car in October 2016 when she leaned into the hood, catching her hair in the fan belt.

“I just without thinking reached in, and when I did so, my hair got caught,” the mother of four from New York, told Inside Edition. 

She yelled for help, and her children came to her rescue. 

“I just said, ‘I need you guys to find a pair of scissors and I just need you to cut Mommy's hair out so that I can get out,’” she recalled. 

Her son, Sam, turned off the engine and her daughter, Logan, cut her hair free with scissors.

“They were focused and they were driven by, I think, you know, they wanted to save their mom,” she said. 

Dr. Keimun Slaughter has been treating Abare's injuries at the Williams Center for Plastic Surgery in Albany, N.Y.  The goal, he said, is to eventually have her scalp heal enough to receive a hair transplant. But for now, she hides her injuries under a wig.

“I can put my wig on and I can go out and it seems like nothing changed. I can pretend that I’m the same,” she said tearfully. “Mentally, it is difficult.” 

Inside Edition teamed up with auto safety expert Lauren Fix and placed a wig on a mannequin to show how fast something like what Abare endured could happen.

They placed the mannequin under the hood of a car with the engine running, and immediately, it was scalped. 

Just like what happened to Abare’s hair, the wig was entangled in the belt. The hair was wound so tightly that it was impossible to pull out.  

Long hair is not just a danger with car engines. There are other unexpected places where a women’s long hair has gotten tangled, such as in a go-kart engine, farm machinery and even amusement park rides. 

Lauren Fix offers this advice for anyone working on a vehicle: "The most important thing is you pull your hair back. If you're thinking you're looking for a leak, you want to put your hands back, take off anything that's going to potentially get in the way. If you're replacing a headlight, or changing an air filter, shut the vehicle off.” 

Additional tips:

1. Take off all your jewelry, including bracelets and watches. Jewelry can get caught or come into contact with electricity.
2. Make sure you take off anything that's hanging or dangling, like ties and scarves.
3. Keep a pair of gloves in your car. You should always wear gloves, even if you’re just taking a look.
4. Auto parts store employees will often help replace wiper blades, filters and other items for free with a purchase.  

If you wish to support Alon Abare, visit her Gofundme page here.